Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tomb of Jesus Christ

In "Beautiful Outlaw: Experiencing the Playful, Disruptive, Extravagant Personality of Jesus," John Eldredge shares an amazing story of a woman named Jolie and her encounter with Jesus (pp. 151-153):

tomb of jesus christ
Jolie wrote me after she attended her first event held by Christian women -- something she was very reluctant to do. Understandably. She longed to experience Jesus at the retreat, but she hadn't felt him at all. When it was announced Saturday night that they would be having an extended time of worship, she was disappointed. 'My first thoughts were, This is going to be so boring. But I began as instructed -- I tried to think of myself sitting at Jesus' feet and worshipping him.' This is where her story gets really good.

'Suddenly I started to see pictures. I was standing at the foot of the cross.'

Whoa. Many of us who love Jesus are brought to tears merely by a reenactment of the crucifixion. A simple cross can stop us in our tracks. Can you imagine seeing the actual event?! Jesus took Jolie there personally.

'He looked down and said, This is for you.'

She was simply trying to begin a practice of loving Jesus. It opened her heart to experience him in a pretty dramatic way. He came to her personally, took her in real time to Golgotha. He spoke to her deepest deception, wounding, and fear. This is for you. I am speechless -- have you ever heard anything more beautiful?

But her story goes on. 'The picture changed and I was standing outside the tomb. Jesus emerged and held out his hand and said, 'Come with me.' There was invitation and desire in his eyes. I took his hand and we walked together. He touched my face.' Doesn't it remind you of the way Jesus was with the women he loved -- with Mary of Bethany, the Samaritan divorcee, and the woman with the alabaster jar, whom Jesus defended in front of a crowd of Pharisees? Invitation and desire in his eyes.

'He told me he had a gift for me. He brought out his hand from behind his back and there was my husband holding his hand. The three of us danced together. We came to a mountain. As we started up, there were places I couldn't get past and my husband helped me, and places he couldn't get past and I helped him. Lastly we came to a place neither of us could pass and Jesus helped us. At the top of the mountain there were lots of people milling about. We looked at Jesus and he simply said, 'Introduce me.''
That's quite an amazing experience.
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